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Arrivabene: No reason to break-up Vettel, Raikkonen Ferrari F1 partnership

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Ferrari Formula 1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene says there was no reason to end Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s stint together as teammates for 2018, having confirmed towards the end of August that both drivers would be returning next year.

Both Vettel and Raikkonen were out of contract at the end of the season, only for them to sign extensions that will see Ferrari run with the same line-up for a fourth straight year in 2018.

The announcements came as a surprise to many, particularly in Raikkonen’s case, the Finn having not won a grand prix in over four years and struggled to match Vettel for pace so far this season.

Arrivabene defended the call when asked about the rationale behind it, saying there was no good reason for Ferrari to make a change.

“The reason why [we kept them] I think is quite clear. They went through the last three years with great co-operation within them,” Arrivabene said.

“They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team.

“I think we don’t find any reason why not confirming them together.”

It had been suggested that Ferrari could turn to one of its junior drivers for 2017, with 2016 GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi and current runaway Formula 2 leader Charles Leclerc both on its books and eager to step up to F1 next year.

However, Arrivabene would like to see them both prove themselves in F1 first before getting a shot with Ferrari further down the line.

“Talking about the young drivers, they are growing,” Arrivabene said.

“Our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal.

“But, before that, they need to demonstrate in Formula 1 that they deserve it.”

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.